FLEET AIR ARM
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HMS Hermes was the first purpose built aircraft carrier in the world. The design was based on that of a cruiser and the ship was intended for a similar scouting role. She was built by Armstrong Whitworth, laid down 15 January 1918 and launched 11 September 1919. She was subsequently commissioned in July 1923.
HMS Hermes was in use as an accommodation ship for officers under training in 1938 and brought forward for service in 1939. At the commencement of war in September 1939, the British Home Fleet deployed aircraft carriers to seek out and destroy German submarines: HMS Ark Royal off the northwestern approaches to the British Isles, HMS Courageous and HMS Hermes off the southwestern approaches. Courageous was sunk on 17 September 1939 by a torpedo and Hermes returned to port. She maintained her brief service in Home waters for a while after the loss of both Courageous and Glorious.
HMS Hermes was then transferred to the Indian Ocean.
January 1940: Deployed in support of military operations in East Africa. Aircraft made attacks on shipping and shore targets.
February - April 1940: Continued trade defence and interception duties in Indian Ocean.
31 May 1940: Deployed with HM Cruiser Cumberland to cover passage of Convoy US3 taking ANZAC troops to UK.
June 1940: Transferred to Atlantic for convoy defence and interception duties.
8 - 12 June 1940: Joined escort for US3 until relieved by HM Aircraft Carrier Argus.
23 June 1940: Joined HM Cruiser Dorsetshire in surveillance of Vichy warships at Dakar.
Her only fleet operation was on 8 July 1940, when her Swordfish aircraft attacked the Vichy French battleship Richelieu at Dakar and scored one torpedo hit.
Two FAA Squadrons were embarked on HMS Hermes:
710 Squadron (detachment), May 1940 Walrus I
814 Squadron, Sept 1939-Feb 1942, Swordfish II
After a distinguished wartime career she was sunk 9 April 1942.
Operations and losses 10/05/1940 - 30/06/1940
Not all operations listed; those with fatal losses are.
16/05/1940: ? 1 Plane lost? 2 MIA
Type: Swordfish Mk II
Serial number: ?, -?
Leading Airman Sidney G. Bax, RN C/SSX. 15409, H.M.S. Hermes, [814 Sqdn?], age 24, 16/05/1940, missing
Lieutenant (A) Edward A. Liversidge, RN, H.M.S. Hermes [814 Sqdn.], age unknown, 16/05/1940, missing [according to Naval History killed in air crash, 14/05/1940]
Commemorated on the Lee-on-Solent Memorial.
HMS Hermes - Fleet Air Arm Archive
Air of Authority
Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database
Australian War Memorial
Bail-outs for 1940
T.K. Derry (1952), The Campaign in Norway
Canadian Virtual War Memorial
Casualty Lists Royal Navy
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Fleet Air Arm Archive 1939-1945
Fleet Air Arm Museum
Fleet Air Arm Archive 1939-1945: Prisoners of War
Lee-on-Solent Memorial (missing FAA members)
Prisoners of War captured in Europe 1940
RAF - Campaign Diary - The Battle of France (May-June 1940)
RAF Museum: British Military Aviation in 1940
RAF Order of Battle, France, 10th May 1940
Royal Air Force History Section
The Royal Air Force, 1939-1945
The Second World War - a day by day account
The War in France and Flanders, 1939-1940, by Major L.F. Ellis, 1954
Peter D. Cornwell, The Battle of France, Then and Now, 2008
Norman Franks, Air Battle Dunkirk
Ross McNeill 'Royal Air Force Coastal Command Losses of the Second World War' (Midland Counties)
Luftwaffe and Allied Air Forces Discussion Forum
RAF Commands Forum
Abbreviations used in the Royal Air Force
Code Names & RAF Vocabulary
Airwar over Denmark
Allied World War II Casualties in the Netherlands
Armée de l'Air - Order of Battle,
10th May 1940
Axis History Factbook
De Belgen in Engeland 1940-1945 (in Dutch)
Belgian Aviation History Association Archaeological Team
British Aircraft Directory
British Aviation Archaeological Council - Books and research links
Canada's Air Force History
Ciel de Gloire (in French)
CWGC Cemeteries Germany
CWGC Cemeteries Netherlands
Czechoslovak airmen in
the RAF 1940-1945
Danish WW2 Pilots
Dutch Pilots in RAF Squadrons
Eagles Squadrons (American pilots in the RAF)
Foreign Aircraft Landings in Ireland 1939-1946
Håkans aviation page (from Sweden, in English)
'High flight', poem by John Gillespie Magee
An Irish Airman Foresees His Death, poem by W.B. Yeats
Jagdgeschwader 27 (in German)
Luchtoorlog ('Arial War', in Dutch, with many photos)
Land Forces of Britain, the Empire and Commonwealth
The Luftwaffe, 1933-1945
Luftwaffe and Allied Air Forces Discussion Forum
The National Ex-Prisoners of War Association
Nordic Aviation during WW2
Pilotfriend.com: aircraft of WW2
Polish Air Force 1940-1947 Operations Record Books
RAF Battle of Britain
De Slag om de Grebbeberg (Dutch)
War over Holland
World War II Aircraft wrecksites in Norway
Aircraft crashes on the North Yorkshire Moors, England
The Lancastershire Aircraft Investigation Team
Luftfahrt-Archäologie in Schleswig Holstein (in German)
North East Diary 1939-1945
Wartime Leicester and
The Aerodrome -
Aces and Aircraft of World War 1
This page is dedicated to the men of FAA 8 Squadron.
© Bart FM Droog / Rottend Staal Online 2008. Permission granted for use of the data gathered here for non commercial purposes, if this source is mentioned with a link to http://www.epibreren.com/ww2/raf/index.html